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214
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Blog of the Week - A Perturbed Secretary

A perturbed secretary

Stardate 213.10.1
Onboard the mohache astral Speaks in Tongues, chief of his tribe


Speaks for Speaks was walking down a side artery, a small stack of documents in his hand and a worried frown on his face. He approached the sphincter leading to the interview chamber which opened as he drew near. He walked inside and with a soft creak it closed behind him.

The interview chamber was a spartan place, lit with a bioluminescent glow which was now increasing in intensity in response to his arrival. He sat himself down on one of the bone growths jutting out of the side wall of the chamber, and waited. This would usually take a few minutes. Leafing through the papers he had brought, his frown deepened.

It didn't take long before the opposite wall changed to a pale blue hue, an indication that Speaks in Tongues had "arrived" as it were. Now, of course, Chief Speaks could "be" anywhere in the ship, and communicate with the crew wherever they happened to be. But he had taken to insist on using the interview chamber after he had given himself over to introspection. Chief Speaks was in meditation now more often than not, and had left the day to day operations to the crew. These days he would only sometimes involve himself on matters of trade and of politics.


"You look worried, my friend," a voice filled the chamber. Not booming, but soft and friendly and everywhere. It was as if the very walls of the chamber were being used to generate the sound waves and, of course, that was exactly what was happening. The blue hue of the opposing wall undulated in tune with the voice, as if the Chief was somehow present and behind that wall. Or maybe inside it. A deliberate trick to simulate communicating with a nearby invidividual, Speaks knew. Some people, and many aliens in particular, were most uncomfortable with talking to the person they were actually inside and took very easily to pretending they were instead talking to some kind of bizarre living wall.

Speaks sighed. Yes, he was worried. It didn't happen a lot, but this was the perfect opportunity for it. "Hi Chief," he started, "how's life the universe and everything today?" – it was a common joke between them. Chief Speaks might be deep in contemplation on the secrets of existence but he hadn't lost his sense of humour. Speaks had taken to always starting their conversations like this, and it would sometimes lead to philosophical debate and what to himself were deep revelations. Not today though, today it was just a rote greeting and the Chief recognized it, "Not bad my friend, not bad at all, but tell me, what is on your mind?"

A brief pause to gather his thoughts, then Speaks pulled out one of the papers from the stack and waved it about as he spoke. "He, this, this Wylde character, he is … he is, … plowing alone." There was a certain lack of expressions in the mohache language for what Speaks thought about Wylde and what was going on and he struggled to find suitable phrases. He decided to just lay it out as it had happened. "Last week he gave orders to our freight fleets, orders I never saw, and which diverted them from what they should be doing and into the Coreward Arm, and he had them build a new starbase there, and just now he announced for all the Peripheries to see the opening of a new cut-price market out in Coptuv. He built a really big base there and all with what our freight brought in. I never knew about this, and, …" catching his breath, he was interrupted by Chief Speaks before he could continue.

"I see, he has been busy then, our Wylde?" the everywhere voice said. "Tell me, what does this market of his look like?"

Momentarily caught off guard, Speaks opened his mouth to say something but seemed lost for words. Then he leafed through the papers, found a few that were stapled together, and looked through them. "Eh, well, the usual stuff, Chief. Modules, defence bunkers, shields, some troops, … all very cheap too, not at all in line with our philosophy."

"Do you remember, my friend, when Wylde first came to us two years ago," the voice said, "his mind all set on guns and tanks, fang and claw? What do you think his market would have looked like then, had I allowed him to control it? Not defence bunkers and modules I can promise you that. No, what you tell me now inspires confidence in me, he has come a long way since then. He knows his limits this new Wylde, he knows how far he can stretch that rubber band and not have it break. And you are right of course, he does not share our philosophy. He is a greedy one, Wylde, a profit seeker not an educator. He is nothing like us at all and yet, look at the market he made. Do you not see some of us in it?"

This was a lot to digest for an already distraught Speaks. He put his papers down on a different bony protrusion that served as a small table. "… allowed him?" he finally blurted out. "Did you expect this to happen? Did you plan for it?" There was only silence in response. Speaks recognized this from previous talks with the Chief. It meant he had inadvertantly asked a rhetorical question, that the answer was already given and so obvious it need not be spoken out loud. Yes of course the Chief had planned for this, how else could it ever have happened or been allowed to happen? … but, but why? A quizzical expression on his face and his arms now hanging limp down his sides, he looked up at the blue wall not sure what to say.

After a pause just long enough to dispel the worst of Speaks's confusion, the Chief spoke again: "Our time is drawing to a close, my friend, you have known this for some time. You have not known exactly when, or how, it would happen, but you have seen the portents, indeed you have lived them. You saw me leave the Colmsera colony over to Smokes and you wondered why but you did not ask; and you yourself organized the pull-out from Borderland and still you did not ask why. You did not ask because in your soul you knew. I have learned all that I shall learn now, from the aliens. I have seen what I need to see, of the cosmos. What I must seek next, I must seek inside of my own mind and spirit not out there with the stars and the aliens."



Chief Speaks gave his secretary a few more moments to digest these words before he continued. "Our Wylde, we will let him get on with his little project. We have taught him what we can and while he will always be human he will also carry within him a small bit of ourselves. It is only a little thing perhaps, but I think it will be enough. Before long now he will gather the confidence that he needs with his Coreward business, and he will come to us with a bigger proposal. I look forward to that conference. And I look forward to the peace that will follow. Go now, my friend, and do keep an eye on him, but leave him be. He knows us well, he will not shame us."

Following this the blue light faded, leaving the wall blank and featureless. Speaks remained in the chamber for another hour gathering his thoughts before he left, the soft creak of the sphincter closing behind him, a small fat mohache wandering back down the access artery.

In the now darkened interview chamber an abandoned stack of papers was slowly dissolving into the wall; the living ship recycling discarded material.




 
News
Is open for business...
 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Wimbles Crisis Solved ***

The Wimble Crisis of 217 has come to an end with the human Baron making way to the wimble Grandfather Paden Mastaak. Celebrations were held in Wimbledon upon the news with crack teams of Wimble security staff guarding all the pies.

It’s unclear how long the Wimbles will enjoy this new era of peace and self-determination.

Vocal Wimble Dinasha, one of Paden’s early backers, has chosen this precarious moment to bait Dewiek, Flagritz and humans who were initially disposed to be friendly to the new administration. Whilst the Wimbles' history with the former-slave-loving Flagritz could be understood, their animosity towards the Dewiek and humans was more mysterious. One insider alluded to a rise in the number of cases of foot-and-mouth across the herd as being a likely cause.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * Storm in a Teacup *** Yahn Bares All * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door ***

The stargates are closed! Reports from multiple sources indicate at least three of the stargates, all within Dewiek controlled systems, have been closed.

Two different sources have indicated that the TCA have been spotted recently in a number of systems and may be behind this turn of events. A scan sent to the SSS indicated eight TCA ships were recently spotted first in the Faery system and later near the Kasmer stargate.

Another source, suspiciously put the blame on the ARC, suggesting the ARC and DEN were working together because they “need to trap [the TCA] and try and finish them off after the DEN bodged their operation to protect the ARC while they incinerated the MEK homeworld, which ended up with several ARC ships being destroyed and the job only being half done."

However, with no public statement from the Dewiek themselves, its hard to know whether these rumours are reliable.

Lord Igor of the Dominion and Erasmus Andersen of the Garcia Family both offered public apologies at the delay in meeting their trade commitments because of the recent closures. The not-so-subtle subtext being that someone will pay with blood for this interference in their business. Or at least with a stealthy price rise.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * Wimble Civil Strife * Who Sniffs the Sniffers? * Largin’ It * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Videtis quantum scelus contra rem publicam vobis nuntiatum sit? ***

The Flagritz Empire is no more! The Flagritz Republic is reborn! Quick on the heel of the collapse of the Empire, the Fessin caste declared a new era of foreign and economic policy with a rapid withdrawal behind the Black Gate.

The new ecologically-friendly Prime Minister Kayxaer, asked for patience as “economic” reforms were undertaken. It remains to be seen whether there will be any price to pay for the dramatic changes being made by the reclusive Flagritzi or whether it will all be sunshine and rainbows going forward.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * Large at Large * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Bravo for Freedom ***

Naplian Forces have attacked three human pirate outposts in the Morroglyph system. A spokesperson for Naplia HQ told the press that the plucky duct-tape loving free people would continue their war against slavers and pirates in their home periphery.

One salty Naplian libertarian told the SSS, “The people of the Naplian Home Periphery are sick and tired of human criminals coming here just because their homeworld is an overcrowded hell. It’s time for them to go back home.”

Inside this issue of the SSS: * Igor of Fang and Horns * Admiral Loves Dick Turpin * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

.What is It?
..a wOrmhOle?.
…No.. worse..
….the KANG singularity!…
…..It pulls us IN…..
……lOOks sO familiar……
…….yet so strange…….
……..what is……..
………that?……..

*** Flagritz Liberalise Economy ***

In good news for all the galaxy the Flagritzi have vowed to liberate all slaves across their Empire. Furthermore, the hectapods have given up eating other sentient species; taking up a strict diet of veganism and soy chai lattes. Sales of turtle neck sweaters and Forbidden Fruit laptops have skyrocketed.

The news was cautiously welcomed by the benevolent Felini Tyranny who looked forward to reducing the War phase of their daily Nap-Lick-Nap-War-Nap-Eat-Sleep cycle to a perfunctory forty winks.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * Baron Womble * A Short History of the DPP * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Empire Strikes: Solo ***

A massive fleet of some 1600 warships, including large numbers of super-heavy capital 300 and 400 hullers, attacked the DEN in the Solo system, catching them with their metaphorical pants down. The DEN gate platform and some two hundred DEN freighters were subject to antimatter missiles amongst other high tech ordinance.

Jack the lad, Viceroy of the Empire, claimed a victory for freedom and the Imperial (right of) way leaving the sullen Dewiek unusually unresponsive.

With DOM platforms firing on CIA ships, will the IMP now demand the DOM add them to the Do Not Fire lists as well? And what exactly is the nature of the DOM and DEN alliance in light of the sustained attack from the Empire? And will the DEN’s alien friends stand idly by as the Empire fleet camps in the vital gate system of Solo? How will the DEN retaliate for this action or are they ready to roll over and have their bellies rubbed?

All this remains unknown. All that is certain is the “feel good” factor across the DTR has increased, with citizens reassured that for some time yet, they may continue in their slumber with the easy assurance that their number is not coming up anytime soon.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * New BHD Guy * DOM Statement * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** To Ur Is Dewiek ***

Dewiek forces had a hefty smackdown against the mysterious living ships known as the T’Cath (TCA). Seven adult TCA 400 hull capital ships, each firing eight of their notorious plasma cannons, were killed by a DEN and DOM fleet of some 700 ships.

Of the minimal losses suffered by the DEN / DOM, one-eyed Magnus and Nevets Motnhap of the FEL were amongst the dead.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * Caribbean Congo Continues * Ur Witness Report * * Hive Briefing * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** The Long Quiet Season ***

Listen…
There’s no sound of anger or of annoyance,
There’re neither cruisers racing on the jump lanes
Nor there jump lanes for them to race on,
There’re neither monks chanting on the battlegrounds
Nor bells calling us to the True One.
There’s neither the lightning cracking of the sky
Nor the persistent Naplians pattering on my roof.
There’s no Dewiek arm in arm to admire the magnificent view
There’re no war drums to feed Human ears
Nor Hive sirens to steal the boredom away
There’s no unfamiliar wing creeping underneath the Falconian sun
Nor floods to enshroud the Aquaphid grounds
The land lies lonely out here
On this lazy summer’s day
There’s no pollution to poison the airs of Inversion
Nor forests to give them life
All I hear is the hushing sound of the wind
Assisting the sand to fall into beautiful undulations.

Whilst we’ve been away: * Operation Giantslayer * Naplian Liberation * Back in the DTTR * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Falconians Saved ***

The Imperials have cunningly saved the Falconian Republic from being consumed by the Dewiek Elder Nation and at no small cost to the DEN either. Whilst the new pro tem Consul crowed about the “victory”, all former FCN systems besides Acropolis have been taken over by the two warring Empires - Human and Flagritz.

Was it all worth it? For the IMP / GTT it clearly was, for the movement of a few hundred thousand troops is surely nothing to the cost they endured trying to and failing to knock the DEN out of Solo after the fact. The FCN now plucked off most of their navy and wider assets are a tiny nothing of their former self. The DEN may have resorted to some dirty namecalling but can the costs endured to save an enfeebled FCN have really been worth it? Time will tell.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * INDignation * FELicitous Caribbean * Nah Plan for Naplia * Mercs Trouble DEN * &etc

 

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I’ve played on and off for approximately 10 years, over a 20 year spell. After some interesting debate on the in-game forum, I did wonder what, exactly, has kept drawing me back to the game, when for so many others I’ve generally lost interest after a few months.

Ultimately, I think it is a combination of automation (that allows the game to handle thousands of positions to interact on a daily basis) coupled with Special Actions (that allow the story arc to develop in a way that could not be catered for by a set of predefined list of available orders).
-Zigic